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Margaret Wix Primary School



What does an artist look like at Margaret Wix Primary School? 

  • The ability to use visual language skillfully and convincingly (for example, line, shape, pattern, colour, texture, form) to express emotions, interpret observations, convey insights and accentuate their individuality.
  • The ability to communicate fluently in visual and tactile form.
  • The ability to draw confidently and adventurously from observation, memory and imagination.
  • The ability to explore and invent marks, develop and deconstruct ideas and communicate perceptively and powerfully through purposeful drawing in 2D, 3D or digital media.
  • An impressive knowledge and understanding of other artists, craft makers and designers.
  • The ability to think and act like creative practitioners by using their knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings.
  • Independence, initiative and originality which they can use to develop their creativity.
  • The ability to select and use materials, processes and techniques skillfully and inventively to realise intentions and capitalise on the unexpected.
  • The ability to reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others.
  • A passion for and a commitment to the subject.


Intent – why are we teaching this?

We aspire for each child to develop a deep interest in, and love for learning so they are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will require to be successful, both now, as children, and in the future. 

We offer an ambitious Art and Design curriculum, which is shaped to reflect the needs of our pupils and develop their confidence to express themselves through a wide range of media and methods, including drawing, painting, collage and 3D materials. Children are encouraged to see the opportunities that a career in Art and Design can bring.


The breadth and depth of the curriculum provides stretch and challenge for all abilities. 

Art is closely linked across the curriculum, so that pupils can link their experiences to their broader understanding of the world. Art topics are planned to coincide with topics covered in Geography, History, RE, PSHE and Science to maximise curriculum links. Each year group completes an in-depth study of an artist and as they move through the school, children are able to articulate about artists and why they work the way they do. 


The curriculum builds upon prior learning and is sequenced to ensure the progressive development of key skills, including looking and seeing. 

Children are given opportunities to explore the details of shape, tone, colour and pattern in the world around them and give them the skills to reproduce those details in an artwork.  At the same time, children develop and build their hand/eye co-ordination and fine motor skills which gradually builds year on year, to allow children to use tools and manipulate materials with intent and purpose.  


The curriculum develops an understanding of visual culture.  

Children learn how artistic endeavours have developed over the course of human history and understand that creativity is an important tool for self-expression.  They are taught to understand why people make art, how artists’ and designers personal experiences shape the images/products that they create and how manipulation of tools (such as paints, pastels or oils) and techniques (mark-making, printing, collage) can emphasise emotions and feelings within a piece of artwork. Children learn about influences from other cultures and develop an understanding of their uses and functions within those cultures. 


We recognise the importance of children being given opportunities for ‘real-life’ experiences in the Art, to develop their cultural capital and make meaningful links to local and wider localities.  

Children visit art galleries, explore the work of local artists and engage in making art to express their emotions. There are a wide range of artists and cultures studied (including BAME artists) to provide a range of cultural viewpoints. Several Art and Design projects across the Key Stages use recycled materials, therefore helping our children to consider the environmental implications of their work.


We promote positive mindset and resilience so that our children attain their best, are challenged to achieve their best and leave Margaret Wix ready for their secondary education and beyond. 

This enables them to want to learn and enjoy creating work that allows them to reach a high standard in all areas of the curriculum, with enough time given for researching, discussing, exploring and refining. This gives them the confidence to take risks and ‘have a go’ encouraged in all areas of the Art curriculum.


The Margaret Wix community is diverse and we understand the vital need for representation within our teaching. We ensure diversity across the curriculum: careful thought and planning has gone into selecting whose stories we tell and how they are told. Our curriculum has been re-examined and we have endeavoured to reduce the western bias. We strive to ensure that BAME pupils see themselves reflected in our curriculum, all year round. We call our personalised curriculum ‘The Wix Way’. In art, this includes learning about a variety of artists from different cultures.


The EEF 'five-a-day' underpins all we do for our SEND learners in art. As part of The Wix Way this means that small tweaks to the way we teach art for all children could make a significant, positive difference for the pupils with SEND in our school.



 Implementation– how are we teaching this?

The Art and Design curriculum is structured to be progressive in knowledge and skills. It is closely aligned to the National Curriculum. 

Knowledge and skills are sequenced to build on prior learning and the subjects are taught through a half-termly topic focus. Long term planning contains an equal distribution of Art topics for each subject per academic year. Both are usually timetabled with weekly lessons, although some teachers prefer to teach certain sections of their topics as a block, to aid access to materials and media, for example in collage or 3D form.


Progression across the school is shown by increasingly skillful mastering of key tools and materials. 

Brush and pencil control is a key focus for every year group, and both demonstrate that children are able to create artwork with specific intent. Prior learning is revisited at the start of every topic. 

Children are taught to use a range of tools including scissors, printing rollers as well as different painting media.


Challenge is provided by increasingly complex projects which are presented as children move through the school. 

As well as this, children are progressively challenged to consider their own work, questioning their own methods and how their work and ideas could be improved.  Support is given by providing demonstrations of techniques and skills and one-to-one help when needed, whilst also allowing children adequate time to complete their work to a good standard.


Long-term plans ensure that topics covered in Art and Design are linked as much as possible to those covered in other subjects, particularly in History, Geography and Science, as well as RE and PSHE. 

If topics need to be moved to fit in with, for example, trips and other enrichment opportunities, teachers can use the long-term plan to decide how they can rearrange, but still retain good links across the curriculum. Medium-term plans map out the individual topics and give more detail and ideas for in-depth writing and enrichment opportunities as well as thorough links across the wider curriculum.


Real-life experiences enhance learning in Art and Design to develop cultural capital.  

Curriculum enrichment opportunities are extensive. Arts Week, a whole school initiative, takes place each year. There are also a variety of outdoor drawing activities planned across the Key Stages. Where possible visits made to galleries and the local area are linked to Art and Design as well as other subjects to give the children experience of a wider scope for inspiration.


Regular opportunities for retrieval practice enable children to deliberately rehearse newly acquired skills and knowledge, transfer these across different contexts and identify gaps in their learning, ultimately strengthening long term memory. 

Children are frequently given opportunities to ‘have a go’ at applying their learning in new contexts and encouraged to recognise mistakes as a useful, positive part of the learning process. Our whole school culture promotes creativity, resilience, individuality, questioning and deep thinking.


We implement the 'five-a-day' strategy from the EEF within the teaching of art in variety of ways. The five strategies identified as having strong evidence for their effectiveness in supporting pupils with SEND which we use to underpin The Wix Way:



1. Explicit instruction

Explicit instruction refers to a range of teacher-led approaches, focused on teacher demonstration followed by guided practice and independent practice. Explicit instruction is not just ​“teaching by telling” or ​“transmission teaching”


  • Worked examples with the teacher modelling self-regulation and thought processes is helpful. A teacher might teach a pupil a technique for painting through modelling this process to the pupil. They would then give the pupil the opportunity to practise this skill.
  • Using visual aids and concrete examples promotes discussion and links in learning.


2. Cognitive and metacognitive strategies

Cognitive strategies are skills like memorisation techniques or subject specific strategies like paint mixing and adding white to create tone.

Metacognitive strategies help pupils plan and evaluate their learning


  • Chunking the task will support pupils with SEND – this may be through  instructions on a whiteboard, step by step modelling, real life examples  which helps reduce distractions to avoid overloading working memory.
  • Prompt sheets that help pupils to evaluate their progress, with ideas for further support.


3. Scaffolding

‘Scaffolding’ is a metaphor for temporary support that is removed when it is no longer required. Initially, a teacher would provide enough support so that pupils can successfully complete tasks that they could not do independently.


  • Support could be visual, verbal, or written. 
  • Outline sketches, partially completed examples, knowledge organisers, step by step modelling, pause and look demonstrations and sentence starters can all be useful.
  • Reminders of what equipment is needed for each lesson and classroom routines can be useful.
  • Scaffolding discussion of artists work: promoting prediction, questioning, clarification and summarising


4. Flexible grouping

Flexible grouping describes when pupils are allocated to smaller groups based on the individual needs that they currently share with other pupils. Such groups can be formed for an explicit purpose and disbanded when that purpose is met


  • Allocating temporary groups can allow teachers to set up opportunities for collaborative learning, for example to work with a learning partner, mixed ability group work, independently carry out a skill, developing a new concept.
  • Pre-teaching key vocabulary to be used in art lessons to enhance group discussion is helpful when learning new techniques or evaluating the work of an artist.


5. Use technology

Technology can assist teacher modelling. Through the use of KAPOW videos we can share a range of videos to introduce a new technique. Via the use of the internet a wealth of artist work can be shared with children to allow for zooming in and out.


  • Use a visualizer to model worked examples, modelling or sharing good examples from peers.
  • Technology applications, such as the camera function with editing to explore different ways of producing art.


 Impact – what is the effect on the pupils?

The impact of our curriculum is the measure of how well our intent has been realised. 

It is demonstrated through the success of our learners and their confidence to demonstrate the knowledge they have retained over time, as well as their readiness for the next stage in education and for life in the wider world. We wish for our children to leave Margaret Wix with the knowledge that Art and Design is simply another language that we can use to articulate ideas and that everyone is capable of creating interesting, individual and exciting pieces of art and design work, no matter what their skill level.  


Children’s achievements in Art and Design are assessed through a variety of ways.  

Marking and feedback provides ongoing assessment information which is used to shape future teaching. Children are assessed formally at the end of each term and phase in their understanding of the key knowledge and skills covered and use of vocabulary. We use knowledge organisers for each skill area of Art.


We continually evaluate the impact of our Art and Design curriculum by assessing evidence that defines a high-quality education, through:

  • Judgements which are based upon monitoring and evaluation activities within school such as work scrutiny, Pupil Voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning
  • The learning attitudes, engagement and motivation shown by the children
  • Ongoing feedback and assessment, which addresses misconceptions and gaps in learning and informs planning to ensure that the curriculum effectively meets the needs of all pupils
  • A range of assessment and analysis strategies: moderation of work, pupil interviews, to ensure children know what they are meant to know at specific points during their education
  • Evidence from monitoring which shows that children are active in their learning, are able to construct their own knowledge and are able to think flexibly and creatively

Use of the EEF 'five-a-day' allows all the children to reach their full potential no matter their background. As a subject leader this ensures those with SEND learners are still able to work towards the same outcomes as their peers through the use of the 'five-a-day'.


In Art and Design at Margaret Wix we strive for respect, resilience, kindness, curiosity and self belief.

Learning Journey - Art Road Map

EYFS learning document

Subject on a page

Aspirations For The Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as an Artist:

  • Wardrobe master
  • Curator
  • Author and illustrator
  • Furniture designer
  • Fashion designer
  • Cartoonist
  • Sculptor
  • Architect

Pupil Voice